The Xiaomi 3S is considered the high end model and is powered by newer quadcore Amlogic S905X. It also features 2Gb of DDR3 RAM, 8gb of storage, dual band wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.1. It’ll support 4K 60fps video playback and HDR video for those with recent 4K TVs.
You’ll also get the company’s MiTouch IR remote which features a touch ring which the company claims improves the browsing experience.
The 3C sees a slight reduction in specs, with both RAM and storage halving to 1gb and 4gb respectively. That 4GB will get pretty tight for apps which will limit you somewhat. However, 4K 60fps playback and HDR video will still be supported.
It’s also important to note that Ethernet is only available via a USB adapter, though the wireless AC should cover most streaming situations.
One really interesting feature is the new PathWall artificial intelligence which the company claims will learn what content you like and suggest similar items. I’m not sure how well this will work outside of the China however.
There’s no word whether English is supported, though English translations have been added in for previous Xiaomi Android TV boxes thanks to the dedicated work of developers.
Inside the box you’ll get the Xiaomi 3S/3C Android TV box, IR remote, power adapter, AA batteries, HDMI cable, and a Chinese instruction manual.
Another day, another Sunvell Android TV box. The Sunvell T95P is a new Android TV box powered by the quadcore Amlogic S905X that features a pretty unique form factor.
The Sunvell T95P is actually so compact that it actually is mounted directly to the plug. We’ve seen this done before with the original Xiaomi Mi Box but these are few and far between.
The specs are pretty standard for Amlogic S905X devices. You’ll get 8GB of eMMC storage, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, 2.4GHz b/g/n wifi and Bluetooth 4.0. Ethernet doesn’t make an appearance, presumably due to keep everything compact.
The Probox2 Air a is pretty traditional looking Android TV box, despite the company boasting it was designed in Sweden.
It’s a traditional looking black square, with a Probox2 logo on the top and ports on the sides and rear of the unit.
The case has a nice rubberised matte finish which helps minimize fingerprints.
In terms of ports, the left side of the unit has a USB 2.0 port and microSD card slot whilst the right features the wifi antenna port.
As you’ve already guessed, most of the ports are around the back. Here you’ve got DC In, a USB 2.0 port, HDMI out, Ethernet and Optical audio out.
I really wish that Probox2 had added at least one front facing USB port, as plugging in USB devices on the sides or rear can be a little awkward.
In terms of remotes, there’s actually two available for the Probox2 Air. The included IR remote is a typical IR remote with media controls and shortcut keys. The buttons are clicky like most cheap included remotes. It’s functional but could definitely be improved.
The Probox2 Air automatically powers up when plugged in. A cold boot takes around 30 seconds with a wireless keyboard and mouse connected.
There’s a setup wizard which takes you through the setup process on first boot which goes a long way towards making the Probox2 Air more user-friendly compared to some of the other Android TV boxes on the market.
The Probox2’s Apex user interface is attractive and minimal. Adopting a grey color scheme and flat tiles for apps, it looks very modern. There’s also a switch function that allows quick access to your favorite launcher if you prefer.
There’s a few pre-installed apps such as Happy Cast for AirPlay streaming, Netflix, as well as Kodi 16.1 (pre-loaded with a number of add-ons). The Google Play store is also available so you can install your favorite apps.
The Probox2 Air is also rooted out of the box for those that need it.
OTA updates are supported for easy updates. When I first booted up the box, I got a notification that an update was available. The updating process was painless, with the box downloading and automatically applying the update once I confirmed it.
The Amlogic S905X does a good job handling Android 6.0. Navigating through Google’s OS feels snappy. I did find that some apps took a second to close which seems to be common across Amlogic S905/S905X Android TV boxes.
HDMI CEC is also available under the box’s settings though I wasn’t able to get it working with my Samsung TV so I’m not sure if it’s a firmware or compatibility issue.
Probox2 Air Review: Media Playback
Video playback was tested using Kodi 16.1 from Google Play.
Video Performance (Kodi 16.1)
1080p 3D SBS H.264
1080p 3D ABL H.264
Needed to disable amcodec in Kodi Settings
1080p High Bitrate H.264
4K 30FPS H.264
Needed to disable amcodec in Kodi Settings
4K 60FPS H.264
Unwatchable – Skipped Frames
4K 30FPS 8-bit HEVC
4K 30FPS 10-bit HEVC
Unwatchable – Decoding Issues
Unencrypted Bluray ISO (Sintel)
Media playback on the Probox2 Air was generally good, handling all of the codecs without issue. I did notice that, in order to get some of the test samples to play, I needed to disable Amcodec in Kodi’s settings.
Automatic framerate switching is unfortunately not supported, so it’s something to take note of.
Streaming 4K video from an NFS share via WiFi worked perfectly without any buffering which is great for those with wireless setups.
5.1 Audio Passthrough
Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough via HDMI worked fine via Kodi 16.1
Netflix is compatible with the Probox2 Air. However, as it isn’t a Netflix-certified device, you can only watch it in SD quality.
The Amlogic S905X doesn’t have the most powerful GPU and this is reflected during the gaming tests. The 2D Jetpack Joyride plays smoothly. Beach Buggy Racing also achieved a playable framerat, though there were noticeable framerate drops when there’s a lot of action on screen.
The Probox2 Air is a decent Android TV box from the company. Although gaming performance was predictably average thanks to the Amlogic S905X, media playback was generally good (providing you don’t need automatic framerate switching). As long as you’re aware of it’s limitations, the Probox2 Air is a decent Android TV box.